The Seattle Seahawks spent the offseason revamping the defensive line. Thus far that overhaul hasn’t shown up in the sack’s column, ranking 23rd in the NFL in QB takedowns through five games with 10.
Jadeveon Clowney, who the Seahawks imported before the season started, isn’t worried about the pass rush showing up eventually.
"That’s the funny part," Clowney said this week, via the Seattle Times. "We keep laughing in the locker room about us not being on the same page, about us not rushing as good as we normally do."
Clowney added: "We’re winning games and we’re not playing our best right now, which is always a good thing. It’s a long, long season. We’ve just got to come to play each week and knock ’em off one at a time. Right now, don’t look down the road. Just get prepared for Cleveland."
This offseason, the Seahawks traded away pass rusher Frank Clark, signed Ziggy Ansah — who has played in just three games due to injury — drafted L.J. Collier in the first round — who has been active for just two tilts — watched Jarran Reed get suspended for six games, and traded for Clowney on the eve of the season opening.
Despite the defensive front not producing waves of sacks, Clowney believes they are close.
"It’s just something about this team," he said. "They never hit the panic button. They come to work and prepare like pros ever since I’ve been here. They’ve taught me so much about this game in a short amount of time. This coaching staff that I haven’t had — I’m not saying that they were a bad coaching staff before, but there’s stuff that I hadn’t learned."
Clowney has just one sack through five games, but to define the defensive end solely by that stat would be faulty. He’s repeatedly beaten his man, getting into the backfield to cause havoc — even if the QB doesn’t go down — and remains one of the best edge defenders against the run.
In last week’s win over the Rams, Clowney showed that perhaps things are starting to click in Seattle, forcing a fumble, generating two QB hits and getting six pressures.
"The next step is make sacks, not just get pressure," Clowney said. "We’ve been getting pressures — a lot of pressures — but we’re not finishing and getting sacks."
This Sunday against a Cleveland Browns offensive line that has been destroyed by good pass rushes this year, perhaps Clowney and Co. will finally turn those pressures into sacks.
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